Jockeying starts for 2012

by nkronos on January 31, 2011

Barack Obama has made it clear he’s going to seek a second term, reportedly planning a more than $1 billion re-election fundraising goal (compared to the estimated $750 million 2008 campaign). As his poll numbers have recovered after the mid-term shellacking, any doubts that the incumbent will be a formidable challenge for the GOP should have faded.

Charles Krauthammer was correct in calling the lame-duck budget deal a massive stimulus for Obama’s own political fortunes. Meanwhile, the most exciting GOP candidate, Sarah Palin, serves as a lightning rod who has seen her unfavorable ratings sky-rocket from nonstop press butchery throughout the past two years. Both Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney have obvious flaws and would have difficult times uniting and exciting the party as a whole.

Another thus far little mentioned GOP possibility is current US ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman. Politico reports today that the White House assumes Huntsman will leave his post shortly and make a bid. Huntsman brings an imJon Huntsmanpressive resume, with both foreign policy and executive experience; besides his current position he served as governor of Utah. He speaks Mandarin Chinese, and during his second term, Utah was named the best managed state by the Pew Center on the states. Despite his home state being one of the most conservative and his membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, however, Huntsman appears to be moderate on social issues.

On first blush at least, I don’t see how he wins assuming Romney also runs. Their 25-words-or-less summary is pretty similar and Romney has a lot more voter recognition. Perhaps, however, that’s not a good thing and less attentive conservative voters may assume a Mormon from Utah has views more in line with their own than does a Mormon from Massachusetts.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: